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US National Team

27 January 3:59 pm

It'll be just a little bit longer until Homegrown signing Alex Zendejas joins the FCD first team. 

As expected, he's been called back into U-17 Residency as they prepare for the CONCACAF Championships and hopefully U-17 World Cup. Here's the full release from US Soccer:

CHICAGO (Jan. 27, 2015) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams has invited 28 players to the 2015 Spring Semester of the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida.

In late February and early March, the U-17 MNT will be participating in the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, which serves as the qualifying tournament for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup for the CONCACAF region.

“This is an important semester for us and an important year for this cycle,” Williams said. “With World Cup qualifying at the beginning of March, it will be important for us to continue training well and performing well. We also need to find a balance with this group and some of the players who are not with us on a regular basis to form a 20-man roster that will head to qualifying to compete and get results.”

The U-17 Residency Program roster features 24 players who were with the team during the 2014 fall semester. The four newcomers to the group are defender Matthew Constant, midfielder Giuseppe Barone and forwards Elvir Ibisevic and Josh Perez.

The Residency roster also includes 25 players currently registered with Development Academy clubs, and 27 in all with ties to the Academy.

U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy; Westminster, Calif.), Will Pulisic (Richmond United; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (Players Development Academy; Bethlehem, Pa.)

DEFENDERS (9): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Matthew Constant (Dallas Texans; Carrollton, Texas), Nikkye De Point (Revolution Empire; Rochester, N.Y.), Tanner Dieterich (Real Salt Lake AZ; Nashville, Tenn.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; St. Louis, Mo.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Giuseppe Barone (Crew Soccer Academy Wolves; Grandville, Mich.), George Braima (Crew Soccer Academy; Columbus, Ohio), Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Keegan Kelly (Baltimore Celtic; Baltimore, Md.), Thomas McCabe (Players Development Academy; South Orange, N.J.), Luka Prpa (Chicago Magic PSG; Wind Lake, Wis.), Nick Taitague (Richmond United; Midlothian, Va.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)

FORWARDS (8): Pierre Da Silva (Orlando City SC; Port Chester, N.Y.), Lucas Del Rosario (Capital Area RailHawks Academy – CASL; Durham, N.C.), McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey; San Diego, Calif.), Elvir Ibisevic (Sporting Iowa; Urbandale, Iowa), Eric Matzelevich (Bethesda-Olney; Washington, D.C.), Josh Perez (Unattached; La Habra, Calif.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.)

About the U-17 Residency Program:

The U.S. players live on campus at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and train in the morning under the guidance of the U.S. U-17 MNT coaching staff. In the afternoon, the players attend classes at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. While in the full-time residency program, the U.S. not only trains daily, but also has access to the IMG Academy facilities. The team regularly uses IMG’s state-of-the-art strength-training facilities, as well as some of the nation’s best sports psychologists who work at the Academy. The IMG Academies include top-of-the-line soccer equipment, Bermuda grass fields, renovated student housing and dining facilities.

Since its inception, approximately 400 players have been through the full-time Residency Program, and more than 100 players have moved on to Major League Soccer and other professional leagues.

The first full-time U.S. Soccer Residency Program began on Jan. 17, 1999, when U.S. Soccer collected 20 of the country’s elite youth players to train year-round.

22 January 12:32 pm

As you probably already know, FC Dallas captain Matt Hedges and reigning AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year Tesho Akindele are currently in training camp with the U.S. Men's National Team. Before heading to Santiago, Chile next week for the USMNT's first friendly of the year, the boys have been training in Carson, CA at the StubHub Center, home of the LA Galaxy.

Our friends at the Galaxy were kind enough to snap some training photos and send them our way this week. So we picked out EVERY photo featuring Matt or Tesho (whether they were the focus of the picture or not) to share with you. ENJOY!

Photo Credit: Hana Asano (Click on photo for larger version)


Headers with Matt!

Kicks with Tesho!

Blurry Matt.

Blurrier Matt!

Tesho lurking in the background.

How many differences can you spot in this photo?

"Do blondes really have more fun?"

Tesho vs. Jermaine! Fourth of July preview, anyone?

Tesho wins!

Blurry Tesho photobomb!

 

05 January 9:50 am

US Soccer U-20 Men's National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named his squad for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship which begins on Friday in Jamaica and, as expected, FC Dallas Homegrown midfielder Kellyn Acosta was one of the 20 players named for the tournament which serves as qualifying for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

Acosta, who was also named as the captain, is one of two players who were also a part of the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team and is expected to start at central midfield for Tab Ramos' side. Kellyn is not the only player with FC Dallas ties on the roster as former FC Dallas Academy midfielder and Dallas native Emerson Hyndman of Fulham FC was also named to the squad setting up what could be an all-Dallas central midfield duo.

The U-20s get the tournament started on Friday, January 9th and will play Guatemala, Panama, Aruba, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago between the 9th and 22nd with all games broadcast live on Fox Sports 2.

Acosta joins Mexican goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez as the two FC Dallas Homegrowns playing in the tournament.

Full release from US Soccer:

CHICAGO (Jan. 5, 2015) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named the 20-player roster for the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship running Jan. 9-24 in Jamaica. All five of the USA’s matches will be broadcast on Fox Sports 2. Fans can also follow the action on twitter at @ussoccer_ynt. 

The USA has been drawn into Group A along with Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Aruba, Panama and Guatemala. The U.S. opens against Guatemala on Jan. 9, followed by Panama (Jan. 11), Aruba (Jan. 14), Jamaica (Jan. 18) and Trinidad & Tobago (Jan. 21). 

"Selecting the final 20 players was extremely difficult,” said Ramos. “This is a group that has a lot of depth. It's a group that has gotten good results throughout the last 12 to 14 months, regardless of the players we've had in. A lot of players have made a good case for being on the team, but in the end, unfortunately, you can only take so many (players). I am very happy with the group we've selected. 

“Overall, this is a group made up mostly with professional players, and that's a strength. These are players who are completely dedicated to the sport; players who 100 percent of the time prepare to do well, to get better, and be on the National Team.” 

Four countries will directly qualify from this tournament for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. The USA is looking to qualify for its 14th trip to a FIFA World Youth Championship or FIFA U-20 World Cup. 

The U.S. roster includes two members of the USA’s 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup team in midfielder Kellyn Acosta and goalkeeper Zack Steffen. Ramos has named Acosta the team captain for the qualifying tournament. Acosta was also a member of the USA’s 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup team, which advanced out of qualifying in Jamaica. Steffen posted a 3-0-1 record for the U-20s in 2014, earning a pair of shutouts during the USA’s championship run at the 2014 National Training Center Invitational in Carson, California – a 4-0 win against Bermuda and a scoreless draw against Australia.

Six players on the USA roster represent clubs in Major League Soccer: defenders Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls) and Tyler Turner (Orlando City SC), midfielders Acosta (FC Dallas) and Romain Gall (Columbus Crew), and forwards Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy) and Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes). Gall was the U-20 MNT’s leading goal scorer in 2014 with four tallies in international competition.

Four U-20 MNT players are teammates on Liga MX side Club Tijuana: forwards Paul Arriola and Amando Moreno, midfielder Fernando Arce and defender John Requejo.

U.S. U-20 MNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Ethan Horvath (Molde FK), Zack Steffen (SC Freiburg)
DEFENDERS (6): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur), Conor Donovan (N.C. State), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Shaquell Moore (Unattached), John Requejo (Club Tijuana), Tyler Turner (Orlando City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana), Russell Canouse (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Junior Flores (Borussia Dortmund), Romain Gall (Columbus Crew), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham)
FORWARDS (5): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy), Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana), Ben Spencer (Molde FK), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes) 

The U-20s went 6-1-2 in international competition and 12-2-2 overall in 2014.

The USA was the runner-up to Mexico at the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship and advanced to the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, where the U.S. earned a draw against eventually World Cup winner France.

This year marks the 25th occasion in which the U.S. U-20 MNT is competing in the CONCACAF Youth Tournament or Championship. The USA has earned second place in the qualification tournament six times (1980, 1982, 1986, 1992, 2009, 2013), but has yet to win a CONCACAF U-20 Championship title.

Qualifying Format Change: The CONCACAF U-20 Championship format has changed for 2015 and is now comprises two groups of six teams. Previous tournaments featured four groups of three teams. Under the new setup, the first-place teams in Group A and Group B will automatically qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup and advance to face each other in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship Final. The second- and third-place teams in each group (four teams) will be reseeded based on group-stage results to form a playoff group. In this playoff stage, the top seed will play the No. 4 seed and the second seed will face the No. 3 seed. The two winners from these respective games will also qualify for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Eyes on New Zealand 2015: The U.S. has qualified for 13 FIFA World Youth Championships/FIFA U-20 World Cups and has its sights set on No. 14 in 2015. The 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand will be held from May 30-June 20 in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington and Whangarei. The final draw will be held on Feb. 10. The USA’s best World Cup finish was a fourth-place performance at the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship.

 

16 December 11:58 am

The USMNT is returning to Toyota Stadium for the first time since March 28, 2007 in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup curtain-raiser and it's both a long overdue return and a well-deserved reward for the Dallas sports fans who have taken soccer support to another level in the last year.

SECURE YOUR 2015 FCD SEASON TICKETS & LOCK IN USMNT GOLD CUP SEATS!

You sold out Toyota Stadium for the largest American crowd to watch the USWNT in 2014, packed downtown Dallas three times for USMNT 2014 World Cup watch parties, set all-time attendance records at Toyota Stadium for FC Dallas games and brought the support for FCD to a new level during our MLS Cup Playoff run and now you have a red, white and blue matchup to look forward to this summer.

While the USMNT has played twice at Toyota Stadium, it is fair to say neither match was the marquee game we will see at Toyota Stadium on July 7th as the national team begins their 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup quest which Jurgen Klinsmann has called "the number one priority for the senior National Team in 2015."

Let's take a look at the two other times the USMNT has played at Toyota Stadium:

February 19, 2006 - USMNT 4, Guatemala 0

The first-ever visit of the national team to a brand new Toyota Stadium(then Pizza Hut Park) was played in absolutely frigid winter conditions as anyone who was at the USWNT game against New Zealand can relate to. It was even colder than that.

HIGHLIGHTS: USMNT 4, GUATEMALA 0

A USMNT squad beginning their 2006 World Cup preparation featured a mix of both young and old with Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan making his debut while stalwarts like Brian Ching, Frankie Hejduk and Ben Olsen also suited up for Bruce Arena's team.

A surprisingly robust crowd saw Ben Olsen open the scoring with a beautiful volley with Brian Ching, Eddie Johnson and Chris Klein rounding out the scoring.

(If you can name that full starting XI, you're a true US Soccer old schooler).

March 28, 2007 - USMNT 0, Guatemala 0

Just a year later, Guatemala returned to Toyota Stadium for another friendly against the USMNT, though this one was played on a Wednesday night with what can only be described as a weakened USMNT squad beginning to prepare for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The weekend matchup saw fan favorite Kenny Cooper and others like Frank Simek and Justin Mapp make some of their only USMNT appearances in the goalless draw.

 

12 December 3:33 pm

Just one more camp stands between Tab Ramos' US U-20 National Team and CONCACAF U-20 World Cup Qualifying set to begin on January 9th in Jamaica.

Kellyn Acosta has once again been called in to camp in Honduras which will be the final tune-up before things get really serious. Here's the release from US Soccer:

CHICAGO (Dec. 12, 2014) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a roster for the USA’s final foreign training camp of the year from Dec. 15-22 in Honduras.

Nineteen players are headed to the camp, which will feature matches against the Honduras U-20s on Dec. 18 and 21 at Morazan Stadium in San Pedro Sula. The Dec. 18 game kicks off at 4 p.m. local (5 p.m. ET) and the Dec. 21 match at 2 p.m. local (3 p.m. ET).

This is the U-20 MNT’s final foreign training camp of the year before turning its focus on the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship starting Jan. 9 in Jamaica.

The USA roster for Honduras features nine of the 10 players who took part in the U-20 MNT’s recent domestic fitness camp from Dec. 3-10 in Bradenton, Florida.

The group also includes midfielders Russell Canouse and Romain Gall, who are the only two players to feature in all seven of the U-20 MNT’s international matches this year. Canouse leads the team with six starts and Gall is tied for third on the U-20s with two goals, both of which came during the USA’s 4-3 victory against Russia’s U-21 national team on Nov. 12 in Marbella, Spain.

The goalkeeping tandem of Santiago Castaño and Zack Steffen has accounted for six of the USA’s seven starts this year. Steffen, who officially signed with Bundesliga club SC Freiburg on Friday, has posted shutouts in both of his matches – a 4-0 win against Bermuda and a scoreless draw against Australia en route to the NTC Invitational title – and Castaño had a clean sheet during the USA’s 1-0 win against the Republic of Ireland on Nov. 15.

The USA roster includes 18 players with ties to the Development Academy.

The U-20 MNT is 4-1-2 in international competition and 10-2-2 overall in 2014.

Following the Honduras camp, the U-20s will hold a pre-World Cup qualifying camp in Florida before departing for the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The USA opens Group A play at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship against Guatemala on Jan. 9 at Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica (5:30 p.m. ET kickoff).

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2) : Santiago Castaño (New York Red Bulls; Union City, N.J.), Zack Steffen (SC Freiburg; Downingtown, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (6): Michael Amick (UCLA; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Conor Donovan (North Carolina State; Fuquay-Varina, N.C.), Matthew Miazga (New York Red Bulls; Clifton, N.J.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), John Requejo (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.),Tyler Turner (Orlando City SC; West Haven, Conn.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Russell Canouse (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim; Lancaster, Pa.), Marco Delgado (Toronto FC; Glendora, Calif.), Romain Gall (Columbus Crew; Herndon, Va.), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland AFC; Santa Cruz, Calif.), Joel Soñora (CA Boca Juniors; Buenos Aires, Argentina)
FORWARDS (4): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana; Morganville, N.J.), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes; Loomis, Calif.)

 

04 December 4:13 pm

The annual Nike Friendlies were held over the last week in Florida as part of the US Soccer Development Academy Winter Showcase with the US U-17 National Team facing England, Australia & Brazil over a week-long stretch.

Recent FC Dallas Homegrown signing Alejandro Zendejas played a huge part in the Nike Friendlies so let's take a look at his performances:

US U-17s defeat England U-17s 3-1

WATCH: USA 3 ENG 1

In the opening match, the US steamrolled England jumping out to a 2-0 halftime lead before winning 3-1. FCD midfielder Alejandro Zendejas scored the opening goal of the match on a really nice volley in the 11th minute before assisting on the third goal of the match in the 48th minute scored by Christian Pulisic.

Zendejas went 83 minutes in the match playing in an attacking two-way midfielder role for the U-17s.

U-17s come from behind to beat Australia 2-1

In the second match of the week playing a largely changed lineup, the U-17s fell behind early to Australia, but found a 15th-minute equalizer to send the match tied 1-1 at halftime.

Zendejas did not start the match, but subbed in at halftime for the U-17s who found a 69th-minute game-winner from Luca de la Torre to go 2-0 on the week at the Nike Friendlies.

U-17s fall 4-1 to Brazil in final match of Nike Friendlies

The United States needed just a draw against the Brazil U-17s to secure the Nike Friendlies trophy, but fell 4-1 to the South Americans in the final match of the week.

Richie Williams' team conceded an early goal to Evander before Christian Pulisic equalized in the 22nd minute. Another Brazil goal in the 42nd minute would send the hosts into halftime with a 2-1 lead. Two more goals in the second half sealed the emphatic win for Brazil.

Zendejas was once again in the starting lineup for this one playing all 90 minutes for the United States to finish the Nike Friendlies with nearly 2 1/2 full matches played out of the three.

 

03 December 11:56 am

The CONCACAF U-20 Championship which doubles as 2015 U-20 World Cup Qualifying is just around the corner in January and Kellyn Acosta has been called in to a week-long camp in Florida starting today. Here's the official release from US Soccer:

CHICAGO (Dec. 2, 2014) – The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will meet for a domestic fitness camp from Dec. 3-10 in Bradenton, Florida.

The group features 10 field players, most who play for Major League Soccer clubs. With a little more than a month before the start of the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Jamaica, head coach Tab Ramos sees this stretch as a valuable time to keep his side playing at a high rate with the MLS season nearly in the books.

“It’s finally getting down to that time where we have to focus on the final stages of World Cup qualifying,” Ramos said. “At this point, because the MLS season has ended for a lot of teams, we needed to bring the players who are not continuing to train with their teams and do a fitness camp. Some of the players have been off, and we want to have them catch up a little bit with the guys that we have in Europe.

Following the fitness camp, the U.S. U-20 MNT will conduct a foreign training camp in Honduras later this month starting on Dec. 15, followed by a domestic preparation camp before the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.

Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (0): None
DEFENDERS (4): Conor Donovan (North Carolina State; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Matthew Miazga (New York Red Bulls; Clifton, N.J.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), Tyler Turner (Orlando City SC; West Haven, Conn.)
MIDFIELDERS (3): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Marco Delgado (Toronto FC; Glendora, Calif.), Romain Gall (Columbus Crew; Herndon, Va.)
FORWARDS (3): Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union; Dresher, Pa.), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes; Loomis, Calif.)

 

25 June 2:01 pm

Need help getting out of work tomorrow to watch the all-important USA vs. Germany World Cup match? Dr. Tex Hooper has you covered! Just print and fill out the doctor's note below and turn it in to your employer and they'll have no choice but to excuse your absence on Thursday.

And in case you're wondering, the best location to treat WorldCupititus tomorrow will be at the AT&T Plaza at American Airlines Center. See you for treatment tomorrow!

20 June 11:57 am

Several members of the FC Dallas family are traveling to Brazil this summer to take in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and have agreed to share their experiences with FCDallas.com to give our readers a first-person perspective of the festivities. Erika Cook and Melissa Janetta work in Business Development and Partnership Marketing for FC Dallas. They've traveled to Curitiba along with FC Dallas Foundation Director Melissa Reddick to do volunteer work with Lionsraw (and watch a little soccer). Give them a follow @2SoleSisters on Twitter and Instagram and keep up with them on Tumblr.

After a few hiccups trying to get on wifi, @2solesisters is officially connected! This will be our second night in Curitiba and things are just getting started. Yesterday was mostly a day of travel and as we arrived in Curitiba we had no idea what to expect but the anxiety was shortly laid to rest when we were greeted by the friendliest people. Everyone was in such good spirits and the hospitality from the airport, to the taxi driver, to the hotel staff was awesome. Thank goodness the one word that we learned before we came was obrigada because we’ve used it a lot! As we walked into our rooms we were excited-ish?? to find out that we have bunk beds.. so much room for activities! We finished our first night by meeting up with a few other fellow volunteers from Lionsraw. They were all so nice and we were able to play a couple friendly games of pool. Melissa and I tried not to hustle them too hard. ;)

Game days in Curitiba are off days for Lions Raw so we were able to easily go get our tickets for the match we attended tonight. After shockingly no lines or hassle to get the tickets we ventured out to get our first meal.. only to find that we literally could read nothing off the menu and our communication with the adorable waitress was extremely lost in translation. Somehow we ended up with burgers and fries and we were ok with that.

After lunch we taxied over to the FIFA Fan Fest, which we jokingly said looks a lot like the Byron Nelson. We were able to watch the Italy game on the big screen, but found ourselves in the middle of anxious Ecuadorians everywhere we turned. After Fan Fast we headed to our very first World Cup game at Arena da Baixada. It’s a beautiful stadium for the beautiful game. The energy we were able to experience tonight is something we will never forget, so tonight before we head off to bed to get ready for our busy day of coaching futbol clinics tomorrow we find ourselves chanting “vamos Ecuatorianos que esta noche tenemos que ganar!”

Ciao for now,
Erika

16 June 10:05 am

Several members of the FC Dallas family are traveling to Brazil this summer to take in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and have agreed to share their experiences with FCDallas.com to give our readers a first-person perspective of the festivities. Today's entry comes from Mobile Sales Team Manager Ryan Hurtado from Rio de Janeiro.

Yesterday was hands down the most incredible experience as a sports fan. As we stepped into the Maracana for the first time to see our seats were 19 rows from the pitch, I couldn't help but just scream. I think I know how Kevin Garnett felt now in his "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE" moment! Haha.

As a college football player and some one who has really been into soccer for four years, it has been a process that has transformed me. If you said five years ago that I would enjoy soccer more than a football or basketball game, I would have spit my drink out in laughter. So submerging yourself in a sport and culture, working and seeing tons of matches from USMNT live, Brazil vs. Mexico, MLS matches, College and Youth Soccer to now see THE Messi live and have him score a matter of 100 feet away from you in the World Cup, I guess you can say this was my baptism in the religion of footy.

To explain how wild the Argentina fans were would be an understatement. The impromptu chants that took over the stadium were somewhat baffling! Only to have every Brazilian in the crowd respond to their chants to support Bosnia, it made for an atmosphere like I've never felt before. To only think this was game one. I'm not sure how this will compare to today's USA match as we won't be in Natal, but look to join tens of thousands of US fans at the FIFA Fan Zone.

This morning I took in Ipanema with a workout to mentally get ready to be as proud as possible to be American in a foreign county. I have been outside the U.S. before, but this will be the first time where I get to don the Red, White and Blue while also rewriting perception on Americans not only as a culture but as soccer fans. Prepping my full Popsicle Away kit and board shorts should really help the pompous American views!

Portugal vs. Germany kicks soon, here is to hoping for a 90 minute brawl that ends in a draw!

Tchau!